North Devon District Hospital must improve following CQC investigation

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A report in this week’s North Devon Journal (11/09/14) highlights concerns at the North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple following an investigation in July 2014 by the Care Quality Commission.

A report from Professor Sir Mike Richards concluded that work was needed in the safety, responsiveness and leadership of some services at NDDH. There was also ‘poor practice’ in the A&E department and end of life care. The report found the hospital’s system for receiving ambulance patients was not effective and that some had been waiting in a corridor for more than 15 minutes, even though there was space available in the treatment area. Improvements were also needed in relation to infection control, accurate records for patients receiving end of life care and completion of records surrounding grounds for carrying out an abortion.

The report stated:

“…we’ve also seen some examples of care which clearly require improvement. In A&E there were significant infection control issues, and on the wards at Barnstaple, we had concerns about the practice of moving patients overnight.

“It is a matter of concern that treatment escalation plans, including ‘do not attempt cardio-pulmonary resuscitation decisions’, were not always completed appropriately, with a significant number that did not show there had been discussions with patients or relatives. That must be addressed.”

Slee Blackwell’s Medical Negligence specialist, Oliver Thorne, who is based in our Barnstaple office, said: “This report is extremely concerning for existing patients and the wider public in North Devon. Sadly the report will not come as a shock to many of my clients who are pursuing medical negligence claims against the Trust.”

Oliver was asked to comment by the Journal last year on the high mortality rates at North Devon District Hospital.

He went on to say: “The Trust should be commended for the praise they received within the report for certain aspects of their service. However, there are a number of serious criticisms that cannot be overlooked. The issue of end of life care is currently a hot topic and we have see countless reports regarding the Liverpool Care Pathway in recent months. Infection control is also paramount in this day and age and the importance of communication between staff and patients is critical. I hope that the Trust acts on these findings to ensure that adequate measures are put in place.”

Oliver has dealt with many medical negligence claims against Northern Devon Healthcare Trust and other Trusts around the country. We are able to deal with claims on a No Win – No Fee basis, so if you would like to speak to Oliver in confidence then call 01271 372128 or email him at [email protected]